tv Inside Story 2019 Ep 9 Al Jazeera January 9, 2019 8:32pm-9:00pm +03
and that there has been a significant decrease in hostilities since then. unfortunately perhaps unsurprisingly there has been some violence including a day just city and in the southern districts of the government but this is remarkably limited compared to what we saw in the weeks before the stock consultation donald trump. the leaders for talks on reopening the government and the day after trying to blame the democrats for the immigration standoff his rivals accused him of holding the american people hostage those are the latest headlines on al-jazeera inside stories coming up next with the foley. then it's the news hour i will say thanks for watching.
president donald trump calls on the american people to support his war on the southern border democrats accuse him of stalking fear of immigrants is there a security and humanitarian crisis at the us mexico border this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program fully backed u.s. president donald trump is refusing to give up his signature campaign promise of building a wall along the border with mexico democrats won't give him the more than five billion dollars he wants to build it a failed mate has led to the second longest partial u.s.
government shutdown in history so the president went on prime time television to argue that the barrier is needed to stop what he calls a growing humanitarian and security crisis or bringing our guests in just a moment but first here's some of what donald trump at to say america proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who are richer society and contribute to our nation but all americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migration in the last two years i saw offices made two hundred sixty six thousand arrests of aliens with criminal records including those charged or convicted of one hundred thousand assaults thirty thousand sex crimes and four thousand violent killings. over the years thousands of americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don't
act right now on democrats responded to trump's speech by repeating their demand to reopen the government speaker of the house of representatives nancy pelosi accused the president of fear mongering. the fact is the women and children at the border are not a security threat they are humanitarian challenge a challenge the president comes on cool and counterproductive policies have only deepened and the fact is president trump must stop holding the american people hostage or to stop manufacturing a crisis a must in the government well let's take a closer look at some figures not the pew research center estimates there were ten point seven million undocumented immigrants in the u.s. in twenty sixteen that's the lowest figure in more than a decade the u.s. customs and border protection agency says the number of people arrested while trying to cross the southern border peaks in two thousand at one point six million
but that figure has been falling since ten to just under four hundred thousand last year and most of them don't have a criminal record and nearly fifteen thousand unaccompanied immigrant children are in custody with detention facilities being pushed to the limits. so is there a crisis at the us mexico border let's bring in our guest joining us from new york is. she is the founding director of the center for security race and writes and professor of law at rutgers university from tamper in florida joining us on skype david ward who is a former u.s. immigration enforcement agent and currently the director of the national association of former border patrol agents and also in new york lincoln mitchell political analyst and professor at columbia university welcome to you all thank you for being on inside story sock in new york the president described the situation at
the us mexico border as a humanitarian and security crisis but he didn't declare the state of emergency that many people were expecting him to declare what do you make of that and do illegal border crossings represent a crisis for america. well the numbers show that illegal border crisis crossings are not a crisis if you've gone down to four hundred thousand in two thousand and eighteen based on one point six million in two thousand and clearly the numbers are going down and the problems that he cited such as the drug trade human smuggling many of these problems are for example the drug trade is coming through port of entry the smuggling is coming through the port of entry and most of the immigrants who are here undocumented have come illegally and then overstayed their visa and most of them are coming from brazil canada and mexico so many of the problems that he cited he's exaggerating he's focusing on specific numbers and it is not
a crisis and that is one of the reasons why i don't think he has the legal authority to call an emergency as there's no changes in circumstances or facts that show that there is in fact an emergency but is he far off when he says that there is a humanitarian crisis i mean with the case of the unaccompanied children that we've seen in recent months and immigration detention facilities being pushed to the limit is there a case to be made a humanitarian case to be made for border wall. well ironically the humanitarian crisis the response is not a wall because the wall is aimed to stop people who come without authorization outside of ports of entry these children and their parents who are fleeing war were feeling persecution murder and violence and rape are coming to the ports of entries and surrendering themselves and saying i want asylum so the humanitarian crisis which certainly exists in el salvador honduras and guatemala and then through the
caravans coming to the border needs to be resolved by having more lawyers more judges and more means to which they can stay outside of detention centers while their asylum claims are pending but the wall will do absolutely nothing to solve that problem nor will it decrease the drug trade and and criminal gangs from coming inside the country i think david in florida doesn't agree with you david you have firsthand experience as a former immigration enforcement agent president trump painted a pretty harrowing picture of danger and death at the us mexico border in his speech but what is the reality at this seven border from your experience. ok the reality is your statistics are wrong we have doubled the amount of apprehensions since october of last year which were thirty four thousand they are now sixty eight thousand same time this year and their escalating our actual apprehensions last year were over five hundred thousand and they are going up now one thing people
need to understand about the southern border is that it is a vast area of one thousand nine hundred sixty miles there are seven hundred miles of actual border fencing down there but only three hundred fifty miles of that fencing is actually pedestrian. barrier the rest are vehicle barrier the other thing is that only one out of by illegal aliens that cross our border actually get apprehended we do not know who comes through or through our southern border we do have a crisis with families coming to our border and they can go to the ports of entry and apply it for asylum they should not be risking the dangers of going through the desert like happened in the past two months where children have actually died on this track there are over four hundred people that have been found dead in the desert on average every single year in our desert having a wall up with stopping the tragedy of people dying coming into the united states
and forced them to the ports of entry where they should make it legal representation to come into the united states as a refugee under siloam applicant the other thing is that most of the people that are coming in from central and central america and mexico are economic refugees they are not refugees by the standards that have been set in the asylum process one other thing. every time i hear this thing about illegal aliens and the way the democrats come across it's all about hispanic latin america that is not the truth when i was down in new mexico and in el paso we arrested over one hundred forty two different nationalities from around the world come across that southern border i'm talking about vietnam china bonda dash india the subsaharan countries africa they come into the united states because it's an easy conduit coming through mexico to get into the united states ok david let me just bring lincoln into the conversation lincoln david says the number is wrong and that the president is right to say that
there is a security crisis a humanitarian crisis at the southern border your thoughts. well there is i mean there is he is right there are people dying in the desert that is a humanitarian crisis that's one that didn't start recently it's been going on for a very long time i think it's an odd way for a president the president to try to frame this donald trump wants a border wall because he ran around the country in two thousand and sixteen to cheering crowds saying build the wall build the wall there's no rational policy reason to do this even the numbers that the my colleague in florida has stated that suggest that the work is being done there apprehending people this is been going on for a long time since september eleventh two thousand and one if you want to talk about security our security forces whether it's the border patrol whether it's other local law enforcement have stopped people from coming in both from canada enter mexico this is working building a wall is an enormous enormous waste of money that is not going to accomplish anything except for donald trump to be able to blubber something to his base which
is of critical importance for donald trump for reasons that have nothing to do with immigration nothing to it humanitarian and nothing to do with america's national security all right let's bring you back into the conversation the president and to some extent david in florida has painted undocumented immigrants as criminals and you know this hasn't really changed as lincoln said this since he began his campaign for president who are these migrants that come through this southern border are they criminals as you know are being painted well there's no evidence to show that the majority of them are criminals or even a critical mass of them for example the cato institute the center for american progress had a study that showed that out of one hundred thousand immigrants in jail only or out of one hundred thousand immigrants only two hundred fifty are in jail versus out of one hundred thousand native born there are seven thousand eight hundred in jail now to the extent that we can extrapolate the immigrant population that are
documented to the immigrant population are undocumented i think the numbers show that immigrants with undocumented. they're not are actually benefiting the economy i mean there are other numbers that show that two point six trillion contribution to the g.d.p. since two thousand and ten and that the children of immigrants so even if their parents are undocumented if they're born in the u.s. they become children of immigrants be it they may be undocumented the parents thirty six percent of them are college graduates which is five percent more than the native born non children of immigrants so in the long run it's very clear the numbers are clear there are so many studies by the cato institute which is on the right and the center for american progress which is on the left the show that overall immigrants and particularly children of immigrants benefit the economy that's not to say that there are undocumented immigrants that are criminals and documented immigrants and native born immigrants of course there will always be criminals in every group but what trump is doing is he's exaggerating and he's
manipulating fear and fear mongering and xenophobia by pointing to the most extreme examples and then painting with a broad brush all immigrants whether documented or undocumented david your response to that that's that's not true that's not true absolutely not no word immigrants who come into the united states follow legal process they're vetted to come into the united states they go through medical screening they go through a background check and everything else we want immigrants that come into the my states there's no question about that we're talking about illegal aliens eight u.s.c. thirteen twenty five the moment they step across their border they have committed a crime not that they're fallon's or anything like that a misdemeanor to come into the united states that way but the point i'm trying to get across is only one at a five actually get apprehended to come into the united states illegally the rest escape into the country now we have the same issue going on with the interior of the united states with the illegal aliens coming in we have ice that are are woefully unmade. don't have the staffing to handle the millions of
undocumented aliens that are in the united states and we have to. immigrants want to abolish that very safeguard to go after illegal aliens that are here within the within the interior so don't let me just ask you what difference is a wall going to make the president suggested that constructing the wall out of steel rather than concrete it was a concession it made them tremendous there is my question please what difference is there between steel and concrete and how when event is held to the current immigration problem it's america out of people people are flooding across people can't flood across the desert for the very humanitarian reasons that david pointed out if you've been to that part of the country as i soon all of us have this is a pretty brutal desert for people maybe you outside the us don't realize this it's dry it's hot it's all those things that desert are it's not it's kind of a natural barrier not unlike our oceans on either side building a wall is a is a way to waste money it's not
a way to solve any of these problems and i think some of the problems that we've been talking about here are real but they're not threatening our country they're not at the level of humanitarian crisis except for the ones we've made there so so it's not a real problem it's an insult or a political put on for don't put up and see a longstanding going to pass so about fifteen years ago twenty years ago and the number of rapper hitchens dropped in those city areas we were able to control the influx of illegal aliens we had things called the bonzai in el paso that's right eight o'clock in the morning we had a thousands of any illegal aliens come across the ports of entry to make their way into the united states once the fence was put up in el paso in san diego which actually stopped people from being killed by cars out in san diego the in the rapper who was driving lou i did not find where we spent what we built the exit that's right where we built the existing fencing it works that's not in our going to say i'm going to fence the entire the entire length of the census border only supports the entire border it's impossible we have a natural marriage like no president thank you and you have to vote if you want to
you may not but the president does sag go ahead that also brings up an important point. well i think both of all three of us accept and admit and including trump president trump also admits that we cannot put a border across the entire we cannot put a wall or barrier across the entire border which ultimately just pushes people to the more dangerous parts of the border where they in fact go and die and so again and let's you're going to put a border across the entire berry across the entire border this strategy which i think is misguided from the start isn't going to work there's also different ways to secure the border that are cheaper and more efficient like aerial surveillance and other forms of technology which actually d.h. has started to do with underground sensors and we have different ok with all those aerial surveillance two thousand so there's there is all that i want to grant i want to do it is ask truth. and i don't want to be on kick david and he on the road they refused to date anything to secure that let me just finish david better finish
and you'll be able to respond go ahead. i think it's really important you know i think it's really important there's one key statistics of these really import which is two thirds of undocumented immigrants who are migrants that are apprehended or those who overstay their vsa and that four hundred thousand of them or an additional four hundred thousand are apprehended at the border compared to one point six million in two thousand so the number of undocumented immigrants that are increasing are actually those who come legally not the ones who come in legally from the border this barrier is not going to solve the problem at the end of the day and what it is it's really a political stunt for trump to rouse up his a far right xenophobia base because he's got a lot of other problems in his administration ok david make your argument that why is it instructing sorry i don't know how much do you think in just one second because i just want to allow david to respond why is constructing this physical
barrier the only sensible way to solve this immigration problem why do you think that is fifty percent of the people that come to you that are in the united states illegally do in fact come in legally as non-immigrants and they overstayed their visa i am referring to you legal aliens that are coming across our southern border ice has the responsibility. to apprehend the aliens that have come into the united states illegally a non immigrant visas but the democrats are the working ice to do that job that they need to do on the interior they call it sweeps they call it round ups they call all sorts of things and are not even trying to abolish ice so let's let's get that straight let's get back to the southern border are illegal aliens people who are not screened for national security for public safety or public health for that matter they come into united states and they come make their way into the interior without anyone knowing who they are ok what they have five get apprehended
ok let's let's hear from lincoln now and lincoln i just want to get your thoughts on on you know the president's speech you think he won over americans with this speech will this move the needle in any form or fashion. he wasn't trying to win over americans with his speech this president is very unpopular he's not going to persuade people in the middle to move towards his side this was a speech about shoring up his base if the president really wanted this wall he would have made this fight when his party controlled both houses of congress there's a reason he's making this fight now and that reason is with the democrats controlling the house of representative life in washington has gotten a lot tougher for donald trump the only way that donald trump survives this year and in fact survives beyond this is by keeping his base loyal and enthusiastically supporting him not by moving people in the middle because that ship has sailed this is a strategy like everything donald trump has done to keep the base loyal and to mobilize
them my two colleagues are engaged in a spirited debate about immigration that is an interesting debate this issue in washington is not about immigration this is about donald trump on the one hand trying to distract attention from the report but also to make sure that his base is mobilized so that no matter what robert muller reports out thirty five percent of the people dismiss it outright as to use trump's unfortunate words fake news this is about politics it is not about immigration anyone who takes a step back and tries to understand the many many challenges facing our country knows that immigrants from from south from the south is not one of them just that's just not the reality in which the united states exists right now but in dollar terms political future it is extremely important that is what this is about david lincoln makes a very good point when he asks why did the president not push for this wall when the republicans controlled the house and senate and he was in the white house why now well he he did push for but we had
a republican i'm not going to support the republicans or the democrats on this because they're both one in the same they have kicked this can down the road since the simpson mazzoli act back in one thousand nine hundred six and they continued to do so so schumer in palosi both came out so well maybe a guy who are going that maybe and then we'll talk about the border after that they've done that for the past three decades but even talk as leverage i'm going to call mine don't. artemy you're right about that but i'm making a tactic you're right about that but i'm making a tactical point donald trump had leverage over paul ryan and the house republicans he doesn't have leverage over nancy pelosi because to put it in plain english nancy pelosi just cleaned his clock last november mitch mcconnell is also a player here we talk about chuck chuck has no influence here mitch mcconnell runs the u.s. senate he can bring over seven democrats if he's worried about a closure vote he didn't even try this i think you're right that it may not have succeeded but he did not go to the mats if you really which is what he would have
done if he really wanted this because he had a much better shot if you look at any major legislation going back really almost to the new deal it happens when the president controls both parties that was his moment right chose not to do it and now nancy pelosi is going to stop a sour any and all the best for america right so hot if this is a political issue as lincoln says in new york as well so what happens next then as far as this immigration issue i mean. it and what does it mean for the thousands of people who are waiting to cross the border into the united states. well i think those who come to the port of entry will continue to be processed and the the major concern right now is this humanitarian challenges palosi stated with these children in particular and ensuring that they are not separated from their parents ensuring that they are not in these awful detention conditions where they're dying and getting very ill and being traumatized but i do agree that this
is in fact a political stunt even a quick back university poll in december of two thousand and eighteen show that fifty four percent of americans do not want this wall over one million us federal employees are very upset that they're not getting their paychecks which is causing them to miss their mortgages missed their car payments unable to purchase food and many of them are vets so trump isn't doing himself any favors with what part of the population that he claims supports them the vets and and federal employees who also themselves are said they don't support this wall so this is a diversion i'm sure it's going to blow back in his face because if he digs his wheelin he's acting like a child with his tantrums saying things such as i will keep the government closed as long as i have to until i get quote quote quote my wall sounds like a toddler so i think he's really setting himself up to lose his base or shrink it and he probably will not have a very strong chance in two thousand and twenty so i think it's
a very very foolish move on his part and i frankly i don't think the republicans want the wall any more than the democrats do at least the establishment republicans because i think they understand that it's not going to solve the ultimate problem which is border security already this is a political stunt at the end of the day that david in tampa i'll give you the last word because we're almost at the end of our show if you are if you believe that there is a crisis indeed at the southern border are you in favor then of the president declaring a national emergency at this point. well if it's going to get the congress to act and understand what's going on the border yes look what happened in san diego with that we haven't deployed tear gas in years and now we're deploying tear gas because people trying to create across that border most of those that came in the caravan in the past a couple caravans were young adult males they were not families there were some families that came in but most of them were young adult males that videos out there people could see what was going on even mexico was having issues with the migrants
i came into tio want to the things that they were doing there we do need to have security on our border we need to get our politicians to get their act together which they have reviews to do it's not necessarily donald trump but it's the entire political process that refuses to address the issue all right we'll leave it there thank you very much for a very heated and interesting discussion sahaya as these david ward and lincoln mitchell thank you for watching as well you can always watch his program again any time by visiting our website at al-jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com for inside story and you can of course also join the conversation on twitter our handle is that inside story for me funny vattenfall and the whole team here in doha thank you for watching by fanatic.
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